307 research outputs found

    Heterogeneous processes: Laboratory, field, and modeling studies

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    The efficiencies of chemical families such as ClO(x) and NO(x) for altering the total abundance and distribution of stratospheric ozone are controlled by a partitioning between reactive (active) and nonreactive (reservoir) compounds within each family. Gas phase thermodynamics, photochemistry, and kinetics would dictate, for example, that only about 1 percent of the chlorine resident in the lower stratosphere would be in the form of active Cl or ClO, the remainder existing in the reservoir compounds HCl and ClONO2. The consistency of this picture was recently challenged by the recognition that important chemical transformations take place on polar regions: the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment (AAOE) and the Airborne Arctic Stratospheric Expedition (AASA). Following the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, Solomon et al. suggested that the heterogeneous chemical reaction: ClONO2(g)+HCl(s) yields Cl2(g)+HNO3(s) could play a key role in converting chlorine from inactive forms into a species (Cl2) that would rapidly dissociate in sunlight to liberate atomic chlorine and initiate ozone depletion. The symbols (s) and (g) denote solid phase, or adsorbed onto a solid surface, and gas phase, respectively, and represent the approach by which such a reaction is modeled rather than the microscopic details of the reaction. The reaction was expected to be most important at altitudes where PSC's were most prevalent (10 to 25 km), thereby extending the altitude range over which chlorine compounds can efficiently destroy ozone from the 35 to 45 km region (where concentrations of active chlorine are usually highest) to lower altitudes where the ozone concentration is at its peak. This chapter will briefly review the current state of knowledge of heterogeneous processes in the stratosphere, emphasizing those results obtained since the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) conference. Sections are included on laboratory investigations of heterogeneous reactions, the characteristics and climatology of PSC's, stratospheric sulfate aerosols, and evidence of heterogeneous chemical processing

    Coupled evolution of BrOx-ClOx-HOx-NOx chemistry during bromine-catalyzed ozone depletion events in the arctic boundary layer

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    Extensive chemical characterization of ozone (O3) depletion events in the Arctic boundary layer during the TOPSE aircraft mission in March–May 2000 enables analysis of the coupled chemical evolution of bromine (BrOx), chlorine (ClOx), hydrogen oxide (HOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) radicals during these events. We project the TOPSE observations onto an O3 chemical coordinate to construct a chronology of radical chemistry during O3 depletion events, and we compare this chronology to results from a photochemical model simulation. Comparison of observed trends in ethyne (oxidized by Br) and ethane (oxidized by Cl) indicates that ClOxchemistry is only active during the early stage of O3 depletion (O3 \u3e 10 ppbv). We attribute this result to the suppression of BrCl regeneration as O3 decreases. Formaldehyde and peroxy radical concentrations decline by factors of 4 and 2 respectively during O3 depletion and we explain both trends on the basis of the reaction of CH2O with Br. Observed NOx concentrations decline abruptly in the early stages of O3 depletion and recover as O3 drops below 10 ppbv. We attribute the initial decline to BrNO3 hydrolysis in aerosol, and the subsequent recovery to suppression of BrNO3 formation as O3 drops. Under halogen-free conditions we find that HNO4 heterogeneous chemistry could provide a major NOx sink not included in standard models. Halogen radical chemistry in the model can produce under realistic conditions an oscillatory system with a period of 3 days, which we believe is the fastest oscillation ever reported for a chemical system in the atmosphere

    Sensitivity to grid resolution in the ability of a chemical transport model to simulate observed oxidant chemistry under high-isoprene conditions

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    Formation of ozone and organic aerosol in continental atmospheres depends on whether isoprene emitted by vegetation is oxidized by the high-NOx pathway (where peroxy radicals react with NO) or by low-NOx pathways (where peroxy radicals react by alternate channels, mostly with HO2). We used mixed layer observations from the SEAC4RS aircraft campaign over the Southeast US to test the ability of the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model at different grid resolutions (0.25°  ×  0.3125°, 2°  ×  2.5°, 4°  ×  5°) to simulate this chemistry under high-isoprene, variable-NOx conditions. Observations of isoprene and NOx over the Southeast US show a negative correlation, reflecting the spatial segregation of emissions; this negative correlation is captured in the model at 0.25°  ×  0.3125° resolution but not at coarser resolutions. As a result, less isoprene oxidation takes place by the high-NOx pathway in the model at 0.25°  ×  0.3125° resolution (54 %) than at coarser resolution (59 %). The cumulative probability distribution functions (CDFs) of NOx, isoprene, and ozone concentrations show little difference across model resolutions and good agreement with observations, while formaldehyde is overestimated at coarse resolution because excessive isoprene oxidation takes place by the high-NOx pathway with high formaldehyde yield. The good agreement of simulated and observed concentration variances implies that smaller-scale non-linearities (urban and power plant plumes) are not important on the regional scale. Correlations of simulated vs. observed concentrations do not improve with grid resolution because finer modes of variability are intrinsically more difficult to capture. Higher model resolution leads to decreased conversion of NOx to organic nitrates and increased conversion to nitric acid, with total reactive nitrogen oxides (NOy) changing little across model resolutions. Model concentrations in the lower free troposphere are also insensitive to grid resolution. The overall low sensitivity of modeled concentrations to grid resolution implies that coarse resolution is adequate when modeling continental boundary layer chemistry for global applications

    Characterization of soluble bromide measurements and a case study of BrO observations during ARCTAS

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    A focus of the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) mission was examination of bromine photochemistry in the spring time high latitude troposphere based on aircraft and satellite measurements of bromine oxide (BrO) and related species. The NASA DC-8 aircraft utilized a chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) to measure BrO and a mist chamber (MC) to measure soluble bromide. We have determined that the MC detection efficiency to molecular bromine (Br2), hypobromous acid (HOBr), bromine oxide (BrO), and hydrogen bromide (HBr) as soluble bromide (Br−) was 0.9±0.1, 1.06+0.30/−0.35, 0.4±0.1, and 0.95±0.1, respectively. These efficiency factors were used to estimate soluble bromide levels along the DC-8 flight track of 17 April 2008 from photochemical calculations constrained to in situ BrO measured by CIMS. During this flight, the highest levels of soluble bromide and BrO were observed and atmospheric conditions were ideal for the space-borne observation of BrO. The good agreement (R2 = 0.76; slope = 0.95; intercept = −3.4 pmol mol−1) between modeled and observed soluble bromide, when BrO was above detection limit (\u3e2 pmol mol−1) under unpolluted conditions (NOmol−1), indicates that the CIMS BrO measurements were consistent with the MC soluble bromide and that a well characterized MC can be used to derive mixing ratios of some reactive bromine compounds. Tropospheric BrO vertical column densities (BrOVCD) derived from CIMS BrO observations compare well with BrOTROPVCD from OMI on 17 April 2008

    Surface and lightning sources of nitrogen oxides over the United States: Magnitudes, chemical evolution, and outflow

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    We use observations from two aircraft during the ICARTT campaign over the eastern United States and North Atlantic during summer 2004, interpreted with a global 3-D model of tropospheric chemistry (GEOS-Chem) to test current understanding of regional sources, chemical evolution, and export of NOx. The boundary layer NOx data provide top-down verification of a 50% decrease in power plant and industry NOx emissions over the eastern United States between 1999 and 2004. Observed NOx concentrations at 8–12 km altitude were 0.55 ± 0.36 ppbv, much larger than in previous U.S. aircraft campaigns (ELCHEM, SUCCESS, SONEX) though consistent with data from the NOXAR program aboard commercial aircraft. We show that regional lightning is the dominant source of this upper tropospheric NOx and increases upper tropospheric ozone by 10 ppbv. Simulating ICARTT upper tropospheric NOx observations with GEOS-Chem requires a factor of 4 increase in modeled NOx yield per flash (to 500 mol/ flash). Observed OH concentrations were a factor of 2 lower than can be explained from current photochemical models, for reasons that are unclear. A NOy-CO correlation analysis of the fraction f of North American NOx emissions vented to the free troposphere as NOy (sum of NOx and its oxidation products) shows observed f = 16 ± 10% and modeled f = 14 ± 9%, consistent with previous studies. Export to the lower free troposphere is mostly HNO3 but at higher altitudes is mostly PAN. The model successfully simulates NOy export efficiency and speciation, supporting previous model estimates of a large U.S. anthropogenic contribution to global tropospheric ozone through PAN export

    An analysis of fast photochemistry over high northern latitudes during spring and summer using in-situ observations from ARCTAS and TOPSE

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    Observations of chemical constituents and meteorological quantities obtained during the two Arctic phases of the airborne campaign ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) are analyzed using an observationally constrained steady state box model. Measurements of OH and HO2 from the Penn State ATHOS instrument are compared to model predictions. Forty percent of OH measurements below 2 km are at the limit of detection during the spring phase (ARCTAS-A). While the median observed-to-calculated ratio is near one, both the scatter of observations and the model uncertainty for OH are at the magnitude of ambient values. During the summer phase (ARCTAS-B), model predictions of OH are biased low relative to observations and demonstrate a high sensitivity to the level of uncertainty in NO observations. Predictions of HO2 using observed CH2O and H2O2 as model constraints are up to a factor of two larger than observed. A temperature-dependent terminal loss rate of HO2 to aerosol recently proposed in the literature is shown to be insufficient to reconcile these differences. A comparison of ARCTAS-A to the high latitude springtime portion of the 2000 TOPSE campaign (Tropospheric Ozone Production about the Spring Equinox) shows similar meteorological and chemical environments with the exception of peroxides; observations of H2O2 during ARCTAS-A were 2.5 to 3 times larger than those during TOPSE. The cause of this difference in peroxides remains unresolved and has important implications for the Arctic HOx budget. Unconstrained model predictions for both phases indicate photochemistry alone is unable to simultaneously sustain observed levels of CH2O and H2O2; however when the model is constrained with observed CH2O, H2O2 predictions from a range of rainout parameterizations bracket its observations. A mechanism suitable to explain observed concentrations of CH2O is uncertain. Free tropospheric observations of acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) are 2–3 times larger than its predictions, though constraint of the model to those observations is sufficient to account for less than half of the deficit in predicted CH2O. The box model calculates gross O3 formation during spring to maximize from 1–4 km at 0.8 ppbv d−1, in agreement with estimates from TOPSE, and a gross production of 2–4 ppbv d−1 in the boundary layer and upper troposphere during summer. Use of the lower observed levels of HO2 in place of model predictions decreases the gross production by 25–50%. Net O3 production is near zero throughout the ARCTAS-A troposphere, and is 1–2 ppbv in the boundary layer and upper altitudes during ARCTAS-B

    Decadal changes in summertime reactive oxidized nitrogen and surface ozone over the Southeast United States

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    Widespread efforts to abate ozone (O3) smog have significantly reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) over the past 2 decades in the Southeast US, a place heavily influenced by both anthropogenic and biogenic emissions. How reactive nitrogen speciation responds to the reduction in NOx emissions in this region remains to be elucidated. Here we exploit aircraft measurements from ICARTT (July–August 2004), SENEX (June–July 2013), and SEAC4RS (August–September 2013) and long-term ground measurement networks alongside a global chemistry–climate model to examine decadal changes in summertime reactive oxidized nitrogen (RON) and ozone over the Southeast US. We show that our model can reproduce the mean vertical profiles of major RON species and the total (NOy) in both 2004 and 2013. Among the major RON species, nitric acid (HNO3) is dominant (∼ 42–45%), followed by NOx (31%), total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs; 14%), and total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs; 9–12%) on a regional scale. We find that most RON species, including NOx, ΣPNs, and HNO3, decline proportionally with decreasing NOx emissions in this region, leading to a similar decline in NOy. This linear response might be in part due to the nearly constant summertime supply of biogenic VOC emissions in this region. Our model captures the observed relative change in RON and surface ozone from 2004 to 2013. Model sensitivity tests indicate that further reductions of NOxemissions will lead to a continued decline in surface ozone and less frequent high-ozone events
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